LANSING, Michigan – Michigan Municipal League President Karen Majewski discussed League success stories and ongoing issues being faced by Michigan communities in her welcoming session presentation Tuesday during the League’s 2012 Capital Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing.

Majewski, mayor of Hamtramck, explained 2011 saw the successful passage of long-awaited reforms to Public Act 312 involving police and fire arbitration and changes to the Urban Cooperation Act and Municipal Partnership Act to ensure more efficient and effective process in sharing services.

“But storm clouds remain as we have a number of issues we continue to keep an close eye on, such as state transportation funding concerns and the new Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP), formerly known as our statutory revenue sharing,” Majewski told the crowd of more than 400 municipal leaders from throughout the state. “Our most pressing issue currently revolves around the effort to reform the personal property tax.”

Majewski explained how the League is leading a coalition of organizations in a campaign called “Replace Don’t Erase”. The group is working to get guaranteed funding replacement should the personal property tax be eliminated. Cutting the tax without a guaranteed replacement would negatively impact the essential services Michigan citizens expects from their local governments, such as police and fire protection, road repair and snow removal.

Following Majewski on the stage was Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who also talked about the personal property tax issue. Calley was joined by Michigan Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, and the moderator of the session, League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. The lawmakers explained the latest news on the issue.

Up next on Wednesday - the second of two days - in the conference are sessions about “Eye on the Environment: How Green is our Government”; “Bridging the Coverage Gap in the Media Landscape”; ”Legislative Ins and Outs”; “Media Officials Talk Politics” with Tim Skubick and “Transportation: Taking the Inside Track” featuring Sen. Tom Casperson.

Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 734-669-6317 and mbach@mml.org.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley at the 2012 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference in Lansing.

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